I have a happy place, it is called the Totally Gluten Free Bakery and it is in Lacombe, Alberta. It is one of my happy places because My Celiac Family can eat there safely and we all really love the food. In a world where food is so central to almost everything, we sometimes feel like we are missing out. When we walk through the doors of the Totally Gluten Free Bakery we do not feel like we are missing out on anything and we are amazed to find so much gluten free goodness under one roof.
We live in Calgary, but some of our family lives north of Edmonton so we travel Highway 2 often. Road trips are not as easy as they used to be prior to the multiple celiac diagnoses in our family and our first few road trips were down right hard. We used to be able to stop at any restaurant or fast food spot whenever we were hungry. Since our celiac diagnoses we have to be a lot more planful because it can sometimes be hard to find safe food. Since finding the Totally Gluten Free Bakery in Lacombe we are excited about road trips again because it means stopping there to load up on treats and gluten free meals.
Totally Gluten Free Bakery Owners – Valerie and Joe
We have chatted with the owners Valerie and her husband Joe a number of times on our trips through Lacombe. They are such nice people that it makes me feel great to support their bakery. They have nine children! In their family of 11, nine are celiac or gluten intolerant. No wonder they have this gluten free food thing figured out so well! We hope that one of their children will take over the business when Valerie and Joe are ready to retire so that many generations can enjoy their great food. It sounds like their daughter Karin is well on her way, she is responsible for slicing the bread, making the pies, cookies and cheesecakes and doing a lot of the administrative work! She also teaches her mom yoga with all their spare time (which I don’t think they have much of).
Totally Gluten Free Bakery – What To Expect
When you walk into the Totally Gluten Free Bakery, it won’t be what you are expecting. It is located in an industrial area of town. A warm smile always greets you as you enter, but you walk into a room full of freezers and coolers, not glass display cases. There is always a selection of fresh bread and ready to eat treats like cupcakes, cookies and other goodies. If you are lucky you will find some lemon poppyseed muffins (my favourite) or some fresh samples of delicious treats. Most of the food however is in freezers and you have to spend a bit of time checking them out to see what is there.
Now that I have been there a number of times I usually head straight to the cooler by the cash register to pick a treat. The coolers are mostly named after Disney characters. They started as the seven dwarfs because when someone would say “we have raisin bread in the freezer” they needed to know which freezer to go searching in. Now they have multiple freezers and coolers because their product line continues to grow so they have had to branch out to other Disney characters. I think the unnamed cooler at the front should be called Vanellope, after the Sugar Rush racer in Wrek-It-Ralph. That is the cooler I go to to get my sugar rush! There are usually cupcakes and pie in there, but my two favourite things out of that cooler are the cream puffs and the Nanaimo bars. Pure yum!
You Need To Try The Pizza!
The thing that first made us fall in love with the Totally Gluten Free Bakery is the pizza! Wow, do they ever make good pizza! They have several pizzas available and they are all loaded with lots of great toppings. The crust crisps up beautifully and they are not shy with the cheese. We have started to plan our road trips around getting to Lacombe at lunch time for pizza. We call ahead and if they have space available in their ovens, they will cook a couple of pizzas for us so they are hot and ready when we arrive. Yummy, safe, gluten free pizza makes for a van full of happy travelers. If pizza isn’t your thing, they may be able to warm up something else like chili, soup or a Shepard’s pie for you (remember to call ahead).
Their bread is amazing too. They put lined paper between each slice so you can keep it frozen and easily take out one or two pieces at a time. We love their hot dog and hamburger buns too. They are much lighter than most of the heavy ones that you can find in the grocery store. They sell lots of other things too like chili, Shepard’s pie, soup and other pre-made meals. We haven’t had anything from the Totally Gluten Free Bakery yet that we haven’t enjoyed.
How You Can Enjoy Treats From The Totally Gluten Free Bakery
If you live in Alberta but don’t travel Highway 2 often, you may find some of their products at Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Foods stores around the province or other places that carry gluten free products like Ben’s Meats & Deli in Edmonton. The Totally Gluten Free Bakery has also started doing home delivery and will deliver as far north as Hinton and Whitecourt and as far south as Lethbridge. For a modest fee and a minimum order you can have gluten free goodness delivered to your door!
If you don’t follow the Lacombe Totally Gluten Free Bakery on Facebook stop by and give them a quick like so you can start drooling over their food and planning your next stop or delivery.
And, while you are on Facebook give our My Celiac Family page a Like too so we can help you find other gluten free treasures.
Note: We are not affiliated with the Totally Gluten Free Bakery at all, we are just very happy customers. I started this blog to raise awareness about celiac disease and living gluten free. I am passionate about supporting businesses that make our lives easier, many of which are small businesses who rely on word of mouth. Consider this our contribution to word of mouth and a thank you for putting a smile on My Celiac Family’s face so often.